Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Not always what the marketing man ordered

What’s the best brand name ever? Brasso must come close: short, unambiguous, even a bit of wit. The worst? How about Francis Barnett? A motorbike undermined by the manufacturer’s weak-kneed birth certificate.

Brand names encircle our lives, especially our youth. Reckitt & Colman went global as Reckitt Benckiser but for me R&C is a wooden peg sticking out of a fabric bag of dolly blue - whatever that was. Persil is middle-class detergent but who would trust cheaply ostentatious Daz? Dreft - for clothes so delicate you’d prefer not to wear them - somehow matches the translucent white flakes.

Shell, BP, Elf and Texaco snap out their oily names but Fina falls flat. As revenge I’m inclined to say Finner. Omega’s an OK wristwatch but Rolex is a supermarket trolley; Longines (my watch) speaks French chic and beats them both.

Cox’s Orange Pippin and Bramley Seedling have ancestry which Gala obviously lacks. Who would eat spreadable butter from Lurpak which sounds like an eructation? - the BBs do, but quietly. Qantas was too easily transmogrified into Quaint-arse (by Alf Garnett) to be taken seriously.

Lagonda became part of Aston Martin and serve ‘em right; sounds like a taxi you’d hail in Venice. Noilly Prat overcame English prejudice to help create the dry martini but it was a near thing.

I’ll never drink Byrrh, there was no need to spell it like that. I get the feeling a Stanley knife will cut. Same with Gillette but Wilkinson’s a subfusc hoo-ha. Never let a committee dream up a toothpaste name, otherwise you’ll get Sensodyne.

Where did this avalanche come from? From a question in a 1066 And All That exam paper: Why do you think of John of Gaunt as an emaciated grandee?